Carlos Magdalena was born in Gijón (1972), in a family of farmers, and as a child he was a passionate lover and defender of plants and animals. Self-taught, after working for a number of years on projects for the environmental quality of cities, he left for England, where he has been working at Kew Gardens in London for twenty years, and has managed to save many plant species threatened with extinction. He has taught classes around the world and contributed to numerous documentaries and reports about his work. As a result of his untiring and generous dedication he has become known as “The Messiah of Plants”. He has just released a book with this title and it has been translated into several languages. Jane Goodall has said that Magdalena “is an inspiration for her”.
Carlos travels around the world searching for plants in danger of extinction, with a view to saving them. His comments on plants include the following: “Any living organism (and that includes plants) is the result of millions of years of evolution. It’s like a masterpiece of genetics. We have to save these works of art”; “One in five plants is in danger of extinction. Without plants there would be no life, since they unite all the planet’s ecosystems: without them there would be no oxygen, nor could we eat or have any medicines. The fibres we wear, the sheets we cover ourselves with, the paper we write on and our coffee or tea in the morning all come from plants and they are essential to curb global warming, but we ignore them and don’t realise this.” “The sensitivity of plants is a frontier to explore. People say they do not feel, but we have five senses and they have fourteen.”
Carlos Magdalena has won the 2018 LiVerdPress Award for his unceasing dedication to safeguarding the plant world that surrounds us and allows us to live; for having studied, protected and prevented the disappearance of many species of plants, raising our awareness of them and making our world more habitable and, in a word, “greener”.